Sexual Authenticity Disorder (SAD)

I believe  that most people are dishonest about their sexuality.  Its a provocative statement to make. Before you get all huffy and angry with my statement, stop and consider your own sexuality. Do you  feel safe about disclosing to your self or to partner/s your true honest core sexual desires? If you answer  is yes, you are a rare person.. or someone who needs to keep reading and doing some honest self reflection.

You may be the person who presents, or is taken to a health care provider with a self or other diagnosis of “porn addict” “sex addict”, ” sexual deviant”, “pervert” “fetishist”. You enter a therapy room in shame, expecting  to be locked up in a mental institution or lashed for irreligious behaviour.

Living in a sex negative and judgmental culture disallows true expression of sexuality, sexual orientation or gender. There are laws and policies to end discrimination  against gender non conforming people and  sexually fluid people. It does not make it any easier to come out within your own head,  to your parents or to society at large. But at least there is open discourse about it and a very active global LGBTIQ rights movement.

Who among us are brave enough to honestly express our core erotic themes? Who is willing to be a conscious honest and empowered sexual being and fess up to what really turns you on ? Recently a popular men’s magazine asked me to give comment on “foreplay” tips for men to use with women. Aghast I asked the journalist if he had run out of ideas as I wondered why he would want to write about this redundant vanilla topic. Surely he needs to get honest and real about what people are really doing and wanting to do in their bedrooms.This kind of article “normalises” foreplay as being a separate feature , an activity that only women want .. and only with men. No wonder more and more people present with sexual dysfunctions daily. Their honest and authentic sexuality does not fall into the box society has deemed as “normal”, namely mono- hetero-normative.

Perhaps you are a person who gets erect when foreplay is hours of chat with a partner , creating a contract for a sane, sober and consensual BDSM experience. Or your best foreplay is sexting with a stranger online. Or imagining your partner wearing stilettos. Or spending days online seeking out the perfect couple for a swinging experience with your beloved partner. Or as a man , wearing women’s panties all day.

Sexual Authenticity Disorder (SAD) is a term created by Galen Fous, a sex positive therapist . The primary symptoms of Sexual Authenticity Disorder are intense fear of discovery, sexual secrecy, dishonesty, and an attendant shame and guilt. He believes that many people exploring and opening to their authentic sexual desires are inclined to keep their sexual explorations secret due to tangible fears of being shamed, harshly judged or punished about their personally meaningful and normal sexuality. His basic tenant is that what people desire is not the problem – the problem is that it is traumatic to be honest about your personal erotic themes.

This is partly what drove me into  training as a trauma therapist. Daily seeing people present with out of control behaviour  as a result of feeling anxious, afraid ,or  guilty,  made me rethink what truly was driving their self destructive behaviour. Not fitting into the societal box of “normal” sexuality is a big driver to this painful place. I am driven to get people to be more authentic about their true sexual desires .

Fous has created a Personal Erotic Myth Survey.  I encourage you to fill it in . Take the risk of being honest about your own sexual desires. Sharing with a partner can feel terrifying. Only do this once you have  consciously embodied, expressed and gained deeper understanding of your inherent sexual desires, and untangle shame, fear and harsh internalized judgments that resist and inhibit your desire’s fullest expression.

I invite you to think about a few important questions from Fous Personal Erotic Myth Survey.

  • What thoughts, fantasies drive you to orgasm ?
  • At what age did you become aware of distinct erotic fantasies or sexual desires?
  • What inhibits you from expressing your honest and authentic sexuality to a partner/partners?
  • Have you ever experienced any alternative sexuality in real time? For example, BDSM
  • How often do you masturbate to these fantasies ?
  • Do you avoid partner sexual play because you feel unsatisfied ?
  • Do you prefer  your  honest authentic masturbatory fantasies over In Real Life sexual play?
  • Are you satisfied with the depth of sexual expression in your relationship now or generally if you are single?
  • At what point/age did you feel a conflict between your religious/moral environment and family and your sexual desires?
  • Have you ever shared your authentic sexual desires with a partner? If no, why not ? If yes, what was the outcome?
  • If yes, what factors allowed you to share with a partner?

To do work with your Authentic Sexual Desires, contact me. 

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